Berkoff's first novel, Sod the bitches!
“In this way I was able to come home, to smile, to be relieved and even happy … until the bitter, incessant nag in the groin came again, and I lay there in torment next to a body I couldn’t begin to touch, couldn’t begin to go near. And we both lay there under the thundering darkness waiting for sleep, waiting to be carried to another domain where the sirens and the nymphs touch and caress you in sweet dreams.”
John is an actor. He is a man. A man who wants. A man who needs. A man who takes. And he takes from those who always expect him to give. To give them love, loyalty, affection – to give them his soul, his loyalty, his life. Why can’t they just let him thrive? Why can’t they understand the desires and passions that drive him? Why is he a man alone? John has crossed the line from performance to reality, from stage to street, from imagination to visceral breath – and he needs to wrest control before all is lost.
Challenging themes that haunt the Berkoff canon are ever-present in this startling novel: his luxurious verbosity; his counterpoint of crude street patter and elegiac proclamation; sex wars; class wars; dislocation and abandonment of love in a thankless and unyielding world. This is a powerful, divisive and brutally honest novel that will inspire, enrage and provoke – and live on long after the final word."
You can buy
the a signed copy of the book here.
first 100 copies will be signed by Steven at the reduced price of £10
Journal of a Hollywood Turkey
Bad Guy! is actor Steven Berkoff’s record of his time working on a Hollywood blockbuster.
The project promised to be a fascinating co-operative venture, with the director keen to stretch the actors and use their skills to improve a typically unimaginative and predictable script. Contracts were signed, flights were booked. Yet once filming began and the Hollywood machine kicked into gear, all deviations from the utterly banal were quashed. Input or personality was no longer required, instead the only response necessary was vacuous pandering to the whims of the purse-holders. This rollercoaster account of the frustrations created by mindless shackles on creativity shows the bright lights of Hollywood on a dimmer setting.
Berkoff's final and most stunning production of Kafka's Metamorphosis in Japanese, with English subtitles.
You can buy
the DVD here.
Steven Berkoff was asked to direct Shakespeare’s Richard II in New York in early 1994. It was a project he found fascinating: performing an Elizabethan play within the scrapers of Manhattan and the still rotting slums of the Lower East Side; between the steaming breath oozing out from the cracked pipes and the brutality of modern New York speak. New York became the backdrop and the energy centre which charged him each day and fed his
NEW YORK POST
This morning I have joy to report - so let the trumpets sound and the canons roar! Last night at the Anspacher Auditorium of the Joseph Papp Public Theater, there opened a production of The Tragedy of Richard II which can hold its own with the world’s best in Shakespearean stagings.
NEW YORK SUNDAY TIMES
The Tragedy of Richard II now being given an exceptionally stylish production by Steven Berkoff. Mr Berkoff’s production, which, among many virtues, is so well and clearly spoken and so clean of dramatic line that it’s accessible from start to finish...
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER NEW YORK
They’ll be talking about this Richard II for years.
Steven Berkoff’s last production, ‘Religion and Anarchy’ was at The Jermyn Street Theatre
in London until the 26th October 2013.
The world premiere of 5 visceral one-act plays by Steven Berkoff, the legendary maverick of British theatre, who
co-directed with Jermyn Street Theatre Associate Director Max Barton.
The plays 'Guilt', 'Roast', 'Line-Up', 'How to Train an Anti-Semite' and 'Gas' centre around the theme of the latent anti-Semitism still prevailing within
A prejudice that, despite the cataclysmic events of the twentieth-century, refuses to go away and continues to infuse the very heart of the society in which we live.
Michael Coveney, Whatsonstage.com, ***
|‘Four yellow stars at least for
Steven Berkoff. There's no one like him in our theatre'
‘quirky, visceral, impassioned Cockney Jewish playwriting’
‘a catalogue of Anti-Semitism, a litany of noshing highlights, from
chicken soup to latkes and borscht, and a couple of holocaust
‘Clive Mendus and Gillian Wright (she's best known for playing Jean
Slater in EastEnders) perform this with great energy and brio...and very
Daisy Bowie Sell, Time Out, ***
|'Steven Berkoff has never been one to shy away from a controversial subject'
‘there’s a distinct Berkoff stamp on the plays: each are performed with surreal, stylised movements’
Matthew Trueman, The Telegraph, ***
| ' (Berkoff) makes the case quite carefully'
‘Lit from above, all shadow and skin, they look like a Renaissance oil painting, beautiful and damnable’
‘Max Barton, who co-directs with Berkoff himself, provides a restrained, rhythmic production’
Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide
|'Steven Berkoff has always seemed an angry and passionate man, never more so than in this collection of five of his short plays which he here directs in partnership with Jermyn Street Theatre's Associate Director Max Barton.'
‘a beautifully balanced production simply mounted against Cherry Truluck's adaptable screens ... haunting use of music and sound (Josh Anio
‘beautifully played by Mendus, Barclay and Lincoln and greatly moving creating an image that stays on the eyeballs’
‘This fine achievement makes an excellent start to Anthony Biggs first full season as Artistic Director at the Jermyn Street Theatre’
Natasha Tripney, The Stage
|‘a … rhythmic piece’
‘Berkoff determined to make his audience confront human ugliness past and present’
‘The plays … achieve their aim to hit hard’
Kate Bassett, The Times, **
|‘(In Line-Up and Gas) ... we witness Jews in the death camps’ dark hell, marching on the spot or entwined in a slow falling know as they express terror, courage, rage and, movingly, love for each other’
Harry Stern, The Public Reviews
|‘The actors commit to the texts and do sterling work under the guidance of both Berkoff himself and director Max Barton’
‘Gillian Wright … excels’
Piero McCarthy, Bargain Theatre Land
|' ... illustrating the facets of anti-Semitism today with a grave reminder of history'
‘an engrossing blend of surrealism and the grotesque’
East End Photographs by Steven Berkoff.
Fifty years ago a keen young photographer, Steven
Berkoff, captured the East End as it was then, the shops, the streets
and particularly the people. Remarkable for the photography, and
remarkable as social history.
Click here to go to the shop
19 pieces by Berkoff published for the
first time, including Biblical Tales and Six Actors in Search of a
"Themes that haunt most of his work are
present: his luxurious verbosity; his counterpoint of crude street
patter and elegiac proclamation; sex wars; class wars; dislocation and
abandonment of love in a thankless and unyielding world."
Click here to go to the shop
The site now includes a number of unpublished poems.
Some months ago an English journalist went to
Tanzania and gratuitously
killed a baboon, for no other reason than satisfying his morbid curiosity.
A Beast is Steven Berkoff's response.
Uprising is a
Memorial to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on the Sixtieth
Anniversary, April 19th, 1943.
The latest poem is For Her Without a Nose.
Click here for these and other poems.
More unpublished work will appear soon.
films and television
One of Steven Berkoff's most recent films is The Girl with the
He is currently working on a number of